The intruder thing was just an echo of someone else's concern I had
read just before posting that and so I thought I'd add it in what the
hell. I forget where I read it-- maybe a woman's website on
architecture-- but it's not really a concern of mine and there's no
specific reason why I would want creaky floors. When creaks happen and
they do bug people, I'm sure there're ways to quieten them up, aside
from shooting the one making the creaking.
Like anything-- even some non-inert metals-- and your health, you have
to take care of it. Then they will be all that and more in 200 years.
And you, you'll die in pristine condition. Then they'll seal you in
acrylic for all-time, like a million year old ant in amber.
What about night vision goggles? They're apparently using them in
cinemas to spot people filming the films. Yet another reason not to
attend cinemas. (What if you could cut out the customer entirely from
the money-making scheme? That would be ideal.)
Remember, unlike a gunsafe, a quonset hut will become an oven when put
to a flame.
Yes, the hut itself will resist the flame but everything inside will
A concrete block walled house with a precast concrete flat roof won't
Instead of concrete block you can use tilt-up concrete panels and
eliminate some construction time.
Thats how many of the big guys do it.
They go up pretty fast and come in kit form.
I helped build one on Useppa right before I moved from FL.
The arcs were 2' wide and came in 3 parts to make a 24' dia half
You lay the 3 pieces on the ground and bolt them together.
They were heavy gauge corrugated galvanized steel.
Then you stand them up with a forklift and bolt them to the previous
one thats already standing.
The first one has to be anchored while building the 2nd one.
After 4 arcs they stand up on their own.
This one sat on top of a 4' high concrete kneewall along the
It was 40' long and took about 3 hours to build, not including the
The 4' kneewalls helped eliminate some of the *difficult to use* space
along the sides inside.
Not sure how you'd finish the interior for living area, maybe some of
that freeky spray on insulation about 6" thick to give it that
intergalactic moon look?
While the insulation is still wet you can pull a trowel off of it all
over the place and create some cool but dangerous stalagtites......big
Straw bales, as well as much of this other eco-friendly nonsense is
NOT lead bearing.
They must either be, 1) enhanced greatly at great expense, or 2) used
as filler material.
The stuff I've looked at, over a multi-decades period, is always
I'm delving into decorative concrete and corn cobs, sawdust, ground up
packing styrofoam, etc., is used as filler material, along with
portland, sand, etc. to create a light weight concrete mix. Straw or
hay is prganic and thus will deteriorate over time unless properly
treated, not to mention the attraction of bugs and all sorts of other
vermin. And don't forget the process by which the bales themselves are
created, which is not the sanest method - all sorts of nasty shit gets
bailed up in them things, dead animals, poisons, fertilizers, etc. All
in all I don't see an advantage with the stuff and finally they are
square footage intensive and very heavy, around 60-80 lbs each. Try to
stack some up to wall height sometime, I dare ya! LOL
It depends when/where/how I think, but it has ostensibly been used as
such. Doubtful, but maybe part of the load in some of that context is
borne by some kinds of plaster as well (and maybe the plumbing too--
haha just kidding).
My attitude/approach to it would unlikely be load-bearing anyway as
I'm still on timberframepostandbeam(tm).
I checked the straw bale construction Wikipedia entry, btw. Apparently
it's an American invention. Good for you. Something to be proud of in
a world of diminishing returns, if I use the term correctly.
I think so. I suppose, like timberframepostandbeam or any other
natural/green building, expense is relative and arguable. If we agree
that we're going rural, then my farming friend just next door with a
houseload of lovely leftover straw versus Faceless Overseas Inc., with
some weird plastic pumped stuff, guess who's going to get my business?
Tough crowd. (|:)
Well then how do they do it? There *is* straw bale architecture out
there, and very nice examples too. Architecture can be made out of
practically anything it seems, including Chinese drywall. Give me a
dead earwig or fly in among the fibres filling my Truth Window over
that or asbestos anyday.
I do notice the folks in the YouTube vids struggling with the bales :)
but so what. I'm becoming well-aware that natural building is not as
relatively easy to build as, say, stick-frame, but I doubt that's its
point, or maybe it kind of is in a way, insomuch as "what you input
here might save you somewhere out there" and vice-versa-- cost-benefit
analyses, but *real* C-B A, not Synthetic Dreamhomes Inc.'s greenwash
No one told me that mixing manure, urine, blood, "cereal leftovers"
and/or mud in with the homes we might live in (and might have lived in
elsewhere in aeons past) would be part of it, and possibly one of the
healthiest ways to build.
Regarding most of your fair points, here's a rep sample (strawbale .
com) from a few quick digs:
"I get a lot of questions about bugs and mice in bale walls. I
understand... the image of a stack of bales in a barn usually conjurs
images of a few mice and a handful of bugs; however, bales in a wall
are very different than bales in a barn. The biggest difference is
that the walls are covered in plaster and stacked very tightly. The
plaster is the first line of defense against pests. The thickness of
the plaster makes it very hard for mice and bugs to get in. If they
were to get in, they would have a hard time negotiating the tight bale
network. A loose stack of straw allows for bugs and mice to move
freely while the densely stacked walls resist the movement of such
pests... Termites and other bugs do not go after the straw. It is a
waste product with no real food value for the termites."
I have also read counters that suggest that your standard stick-frame
leaves far more room for pest-negotiation. I have also read that cob,
for example, if recalled, due again to thick and well-sealed-yet-
breathable plasters, are superior in preventing pests. Good against
fires too, and when they (natural buildings) do manage to burn, they
might do so relatively toxicity-free. So if you were too late in
putting it out, you could at least toast marshmallows while you watch
it burn down. And build again. Locally. With people you know.
Regarding your mix, how about straightup concrete/synth-free? You
might have the right local ingredients right under your feet. I read
something about concrete fly-ash and radon gas. Generally, much in the
way of the toxic is of course very low in natural buildings.
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